AASL announces 2009 Distinguished School Administrators Award recipient

Contact: Melissa B. Jacobsen

AASL Communications Specialist

(312) 280-4381



For Immediate Release

May 4, 2009

CHICAGO – Melanie Goffen Horowitz is the recipient of the 2009 Distinguished School Administrators Award sponsored by ProQuest, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced. Horowitz will receive the award at the AASL Awards Luncheon during the ALA 2009 Annual Conference in Chicago.

Six years ago, during Horowitz's interview for the position of principal of Central Elementary School, Barbara Ungar, school library media specialist, asked Horowitz what she saw as the primary purpose of the school library media center. She answered, "The library should be the hub and heart of the school." That philosophy has led Central School's library media program to become, as Ungar puts it, "the vanguard of what libraries have the potential to be in all schools."

Horowitz said she also believes, "Much more than a room number in a school building, the school library should be a dynamic environment, unrestricted by walls, that opens doors to the world of imagination, literature appreciation, authentic resources and meaningful learning in the real world."

Since arriving at Central School, Horowitz has made information literacy skills a priority by including them in the School Improvement Plan every year and working with staff and teachers to make these a formal part of their evaluation. Horowitz also developed a children's book discussion group for teachers, parents and students called "Book Banter." The goal of the group is to enrich home-school partnership and to share new literature centered on educational topics. After approving Ungar's participation in a national certification institute on the Independent Investigation Method (IIM) of research, Horowitz dedicated an institute day to professional development around this research method for the entire staff.

Glenn McGee, president of Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, stated, "Melanie is an exemplary, innovative leader with enormous drive and energy who has made the school library media center programs and personnel an essential component of children's education, as well as extending their reach and uncovering their boundless untapped potential."

The AASL Awards Luncheon will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Monday, July 13, during Annual Conference. The fee to attend is $59. Special guest speaker for the luncheon will be Barbara Kerley, award-winning author of several books including "Greetings from Planet Earth" and "What to do about Alice." For more information about this event and more AASL programs in Chicago, visit

Established in 1985, the $2,000 award honors a school administrator who has made worthy contributions to the operations of an exemplary school library media center and to advancing the role of the school library media center in the educational program. The award is sponsored by ProQuest.

The American Association of School Librarians,
www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library media services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library media field.